A new report by The National Infrastructure Commission shows that Britain is being held back by mobile connectivity that is worse than Albania, Panama, Peru and Romania.
In this report, the NIC rank the UK as 54th in the world of 4G connectivity – with a typical user being able to get the data network 53% of the time.
As mobiles become an essential for every citizen, the NIC have called for an end to wide areas of no connection, which they have dubbed as “digital deserts.” Some of these areas are fair enough, but for places such as rail routes, roads and city centres, the study experts are claiming this isn’t right.
“Our 4G network is worse than Romania and Albania, Panama and Peru,” Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis commented (hopefully unaware of the superiority complex he’s demonstrating there.
“Our roads and railways can feel like digital deserts and even our city centres are plagued by not spots where connectivity is impossible. That isn’t just frustrating, it is increasingly holding British business back as more and more of our economy requires a connected workforce.”
And what’s the answer? It’s not to look back and fix these problems, it’s to look ahead and get a head start on 5G.
While calling for 4G coverage in towns and cities, motorways and rail routes as a priority, he wants a meticulously planned 5G rollout in 2020 that isn’t as messy. And as you may know, Ordnance Survey are already busy mapping Britain for this new network standard.
“5G offers us a chance to start again and get ahead. If government acts now we can ensure our major transport networks and urban centres are 5G ready in time to give British industry every chance to lead the world in exploiting its applications,” Lord Adonis continued.
Adonis has also strongly recommended that Ofcom works hard with Government to create a new set of standards known as a ‘universal service obligation’ by 2025 – where the idea of 100% mobile phone coverage becomes a law that has to be abided by.
I get it. We’re all scared in the wake of the tragedy in Westminster last Wednesday. Khalid Masood’s actions in committing this atrocity are truly reprehensible. But digital communication is not at fault, and adding an Orwellian level of surveillance is not the answer.
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I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.